Barishi – Endless Howl (Review)

BarishiBarishi are from the US and play Progressive Metal.

This is the latest EP, following on from their very enjoyable début album Barishi.

Here we have four new songs, clocking in at just less than 19 minutes in length. In an interview I did with their guitarist, Graham Brooks, he said that they wanted to explore a heavier direction in the future.

They’ve certainly done this on Endless Howl.

Again we have the mixture of angular riffs and melodic flourish; it worked well on their début album so it’s good to see it carried forward to this EP.

The songs are heavier, faster and are all-round more Metal this time though, which is something the band have successfully developed in their sound. The first song In the Hour of the Wolf doesn’t sound too far from At the Gates if they had a Progressive influence.

The heavily melodic nature of some of the music combined with the screaming vocals lends their sound a Black Metal/Shoegaze aspect which was entirely absent from their début. Smoke from the Earth is a great example of this and could almost be a Deafheaven tune.

The vocals still contribute harsh shouting screams, but this time they’re joined by the odd growl here and there. The growls are performed extremely well and the progression in screams is noticeable; they sounded perfectly good on the début but on this EP they’re even better. Completely gone are the clean vocals.

I’m glad that Barishi have incorporated more Metal without losing too much of what made them so interesting and individual in the first place. However, the Progressive and Jazz elements are less pronounced this time as something had to give due to the increased Metal influence. They are still there though in places and played immaculately, as always.

This is a very enjoyable collection of songs, showcasing a band that are truly finding their direction. Tight playing and focused songwriting means that the band sound even better than they did on their début.

The more Metal-oriented direction seems to have turned out to be a winner. Where do they go from here? Personally I would like to see their next release merge the Metal of their current incarnation with the more Jazz/Progressive tendencies of their début. If they manage to do this successfully then they’ll be untouchable.

Barishi have really impressed with this EP. An essential purchase.

Favourite Track: Snakeboat. Good songwriting and some strange, atypical atmospheric riffing that gets under your skin to create a tense and nervous listening experience.

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